Re: I have proof
The number comes in way less than 1/2 inch long for all 11 digits.
The iPod is (without a ruler) a couple of inches by about 5 inches.
The number could have been multiple times bigger...real estate is not
The serial number readability is a design disaster. First, the number is etched into the brushed-metal case, so no matter your vision or the type size, you have to angle the Mini against the light just to bring it into focus. It's like an optical illusion parlor game.
While I didn't need the serial number to install my daughters' Christmas iPod Minis for use with a Mac (two Macs, actually; there's a story), I did need it to get a return authorization. Literally couldn't read it. Had to put the rep on speaker phone and call-in Daughter #1 (fourteen), and even she got the number wrong the first time.
Considering that Windows users [evidently] need the serial number just to get a Mini going and that plenty of the Christmas-vintage ones have needed service, the number must be on the unit and legible. Folks also use the serial number for lost-and-found purposes. It's not crazy to Google the serial number of your lost iPod.
The standard engraving for personalization is twice the point size (or more) of the serial number, so I know Apple could've made it bigger. By now, they know it, too.
Still, there are two nice things about this serial number debacle: if you do need service and manage to read the number, Apple will replace the unit outright, not repair it; and you *can* dispense with iTunes and the whole serial number requirement, mount the iPod's filesystem as an external drive, and transfer files your own way. This *does* work, so if your out-of-warranty iPod goes flaky, might as well try it. Apple plans maybe a one-year useful life for Minis and Shuffles. Maximum charging cycles for their batteries is a known quantity.
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Re: I have proof: From: John Posada
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